Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post NFL’s problem is college football’s gain

Monday January 12, 2009

A rare kind word about a player about to redefine the word "overexposure"…

When I see the headline in the AJC that the "NFL doesn’t know what to do with Tim Tebow," that comes across to me as a bug with the NFL and not a flaw with Tebow.

I get why certain things don’t work in the leap from college to the NFL. The mismatches in talent that are exploited and punished in a variety of collegiate schemes aren’t there in the pros, so every team more or less runs its own variation on the same West Coast-y system used by every other team, and the blandness has persisted long enough for us all to understand what a "pro-style" quarterback or offense means – and what they don’t mean.

It’s not just Tebow of course, and it’s not just football. Every incoming tailback now would love to be "the next Reggie Bush", but the real Bush is close to becoming little more than a punt return specialist at the next level. There are questions about Tyler Hansbrough’s ability to play in the NBA. It’s still fundamentally football or basketball, but at times like this the college and pro games seem like very distant cousins.

There are many reasons why a college player might not excel in the pros just as most of us could name a few local high school stars who faded in college. But if NFL teams are struggling with the "risk" and "uncertainty" of how to use a player like Tebow while peers Stafford and Bradford are can’t-miss top picks, that’s not exactly a positive comment on the imagination of NFL front offices.

An NFL general manager’s comment that, "It’s not like you’d be taking Joe Flacco," kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

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